A Deep Dive into the Choleric...
God did not make a dysfunctional personality type...
Indeed the world's most influential men and women in history may have been Choleric.
Choleric, when operating in LOVE, is known as the most powerful of the temperaments. When operating in FEAR they are the most destructive.
As Tim LaHaye so eloquently stated, "some of the most FEARED dictators and diabolical criminals were perhaps Choleric."
"The Apostle Paul is probably the best illustration of a Spirit-filled Choleric to be found in the Bible. We first see him in Acts 8 'consenting' to the murder of the first Christian martyr, Stephen. In chapter 9, we find him '…breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciple of the Lord'. If ever there was a description of a raw Choleric, this is it. Yet Bible students are thrilled to find this man so dynamically transformed that the very study of his post-conversion conduct has been used by God to lead many to acknowledge the supernatural power of Jesus Christ as the only explanation of his behavior. -Dr. Tim LaHaye
When operating in Love, the Choleric is…
Adaptable | Friendly | The Independent
Characteristic needs: peace and quiet
Personality need: Sense of value as a person
THE PHLEGMATIC / THE NON –COMBATANT
Relating to Paul as a Choleric…
The Apostle Paul was, in my opinion, a strong Choleric. Before his conversion on the Damascus Road Paul used his temperament strengths to advance the cause of Judaism, self-interest and terrorizing Christians. After Paul's salvation, he soon became the Apostle to the Gentiles. When a Choleric truly comes to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and uses their strengths for God, they make some of the greatest leaders in Christianity. Spirit-filled Paul wrote over one-third of the New Testament.
Paul's example demonstrates that a person's spiritual rebirth does not change their temperament, that is God-given and never changes. However, the Holy Spirit transforms all of the same Choleric strength, leadership, energy, organizational ability, and determination to operate in LOVE as actively as they used them when operating in FEAR. The Choleric remains a Choleric before and after their salvation. The key difference is a change of attitude, growing as a new creation in Christ, they walk in LOVE instead of FEAR.
The Choleric when operating in LOVE
Chloric is the most powerful of temperaments. As with any temperament, living in LOVE is living in their strengths and makes them a blessing to those around them and diminishes their weaknesses. They can be sociable, express a great deal of LOVE and affection, and although they have little need for friends, they will select a few people for close relationships.
The Chloric walking in LOVE brings all their strengths into play. They are outgoing, optimistic leaders, that can talk to anyone and will right any wrong they see, they will take care of any project. Chloric have an extreme amount of energy, they are never lazy and can get more done than anyone in a short amount of time if everyone goes along with them. However, they don't understand why others can't keep up with their pace or would even question their plans. At the heart of the Choleric, they feel they are always right.
Always the take-charge leader, they are excellent in emergencies and in time of family problems they take on responsibility, compulsive fixers they go right to the heart of the matter in a practical, organized fashion. Their strengths will help take the stress off of the Melancholy, the Phlegmatic and the Sanguine, and everybody is happy. They are also great at planning vacations with its myriad of details, and most of the time you don't even have to ask them, they just take over.
The Choleric are quick thinkers and goal oriented, the project becomes a thing to conquer. They never quit on a problem, carrying it out to completion. They thrive on challenges, especially if it seems to be an impossible task and unachievable. Their need to be productive can often make their projects more important than people. They can make items on a to-do list their Bible.
Walking in LOVE, the Choleric is optimistic and can see the bright side in a situation, and seldom see the negative. Their perfectionist side is always aiming for higher results; they feel they can do any task better than anyone else and often can. The Choleric must take care not to make others in their life feel inadequate and inferior either personally or professionally. If they make a promise, you can count on them keeping it, their word is always right. When walking in LOVE, all of these attributes come into balance, they can realize others limitations and be patient with them bringing security to the receiver.
The Choleric energetic go-go personality LOVEs change and new challenges; their tendency towards perfection can lead them to be workaholics, they just don't know how to rest and can burn out easily. Always on the clock, the Chloric get caught up in the project and can forget to make time for other projects, like persons, places or things.
Moderation is a crucial Choleric need to learn, and often they do when walking in LOVE. One sweet story that warms my heart is the day I walked into my Choleric granddaughter's home. The house was in shambles, dishes in the sink, toys everywhere, and there she sat on the floor with her four young children around her having a "tea party" with plastic play dishes, water for tea and crackers for cookies, there my otherwise perfectionist Choleric sat playing make believe and enjoying her children. I was almost in tears realizing that I wished I had done more of that kind of thing when my children were young. This is so hard for a Choleric, not to have everything in order, but she put kids before projects, and for the rest of their lives those little ones may not remember that party, but they will remember the way mom LOVED them.
Strong-willed, a good leader, capable of making quick decisions and taking on large amounts of responsibilities, and doing it in an efficient God designed to order. They exude confidence and possess the will power to carry the assignment through to completion. If it kills them and everyone around, (and many times it has and does), at the very least it kills the LOVE, fun, happiness and the relationships. But when operating in LOVE under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the end result is not always immediately apparent but ultimately spectacular and works for good. Romans 8:28
What an excellent temperament the Choleric is when they are submissive to the Lord Jesus Christ. All things are possible with God, and what a blessing the Choleric can be living in their strengths and not their weaknesses, walking in LOVE and not FEAR.
When operating in Fear, the Choleric is…
Argumentative | Lords Over Others | Tactless
Obvious needs: Control and Productivity
Greatest underlining need: Appreciation for being responsible and trying to get the job done
Anger is another name for Fear
"The Choleric is the most emotionally underdeveloped of all the temperaments. The Choleric has such a need to be in control in every area, losing control is probably the one greatest subconscious Fears in their life.
As a born leader, their primary need is to have people around them who they can command and control and who is submissive and supportive of them. Their needs are practical and straightforward, "do it my way---Now."
Choleric think of themselves as motivators of other people. However, other people often just acquis out of FEAR because Choleric can quickly become frustrated in this attempt to motivate, and they become manipulative to the point of using people. Operating in FEAR, the Choleric probably have the angriest of all temperaments, if things don't go their way if their wishes are not followed, or even questioned or they take too long to be accomplished the Choleric can fly off into a rage. They harbor anger and can be cruel and abusive, with copious amounts of hard words, and they will win every argument. They can say angry, mean, and hurtful things and crush a gentler more insecure temperament. The words hurt, and they kill the happiness, LOVE, joy, and fun for both the recipient and the provider of the rage.
They are perfectionistic and would be quick to admit their own flaws if they ever had one. When they appear to be wrong, there must be some mistake! Because theirs is the only way that is correct and is all that matters. Yet, when the Choleric is brought under the authority of Jesus Christ, greatness can be accomplished for the Kingdom of God.
Choleric is extraordinarily strong-willed and rarely do they change their mind once it is made up. When fixed on a task to accomplish a goal, they are capable of shading the truth, skirting the law or manipulating others, any action necessary to "get err done."
Choleric seldom listen to others opinion even if the other person happens to be right. The chloric needs to have the last word to be in control over both themselves and others. Choleric believe they can do any task better than anyone else and they know what is best for others as well as what is an acceptable action for them.
Their most significant growth need is to learn to consider others emotions and value in relationships. The forever and always ever-optimistic Choleric is incapable of seeing the pitfalls of a project they are interested in before taking action, they are so eager for change, something new and exciting can cause them to refuse to except unsurmountable risks. This goes back to them not changing their mind once it's made up and never being wrong. The Choleric will forge ahead not discouraged regardless of the cost to them or others. The Choleric in FEAR is extremely self-centered, and the needs and FEARS of others rarely matter.
Because they are so independent and self-sufficient, Choleric has a tendency to not express emotions such as LOVE, tenderness, warmth, and compassion. They find emotions unnecessary and bothersome, and they often reject the LOVE and affection of others. They are close only to a very select group of people and even then accept affection from them only on the Choleric own terms. Being a helpmate is difficult for them because they can't let their mate be "right" in any disagreements, so they have a hard time seeing the value of being a team member instead of the Boss.
Because the Choleric has such an overwhelming need to be in control in every area of life, it is not surprising that their need for control goes beyond other people to being in control of themselves as well. When we look at the Choleric, we see a born leader who easily commands and controls the people and the situations around them. We do not, however, see the Choleric deep inner need for self-control. The struggle of a Choleric is the same insecurity and FEAR that rages inside all of the other temperaments, but the way they soothe themselves is with control and productivity. Learning to walk in LOVE tempers this tendency significantly.
So basically, Choleric not only need to be in control of others they also need to be in control of themselves. Controllers are not evil people, they are just people who have been out of control at some in their life, and it didn't work well for them or others, so they made an inner vow "I will never be out of control again." This may not look like insecurity on the outside, but never the less they are as insecure as the next person, and this causes them to be in a constant state of FEAR instead of Faith. "Perfect LOVE casts out FEAR" 1 John 4:18. God is in control of everything. Relax Choleric, God can handle His job! You cannot!
The Choleric great underlying need is appreciation and acceptance for taking responsibility and for doing their duty. The Choleric often feel taken advantage of by those who do not see their accomplishments, so they don't give the Choleric credit, however, if you don't provide them with the credit they will just take it from you.
Extremely self-centered. They rarely if ever listen to anyone else's advice. They are often frustrated when trying to motivate others and end up using people to accomplish their goals. In the spirit of being in control, they associate with weak people and then judgingly resent their weaknesses. To them, the end justifies the means; so they are capable of brutal behavior. Because of this capability, lying, stealing, cheating, and any illegal activity is acceptable to get the job done. The same is true of productivity. They believe their worth comes from what they do. They must be willing to do enough to be enough. This temperament would rather be dead than unproductive. We see what an impasse this causes during their retirement years, being CEO of nothing. Jesus' words debunk this myth; we are what we do, the truth is we are who He says we are. You are valuable because that is the way you are designed, to walk in LOVE and not in FEAR of what you do or don't do. Some of your most potent prayers may be the ones you pray when praying is all you can do in a situation.
As we have said, many of the world's cruelest dictators have been Choleric when they were in FEAR. But in my opinion, the author of over one-third of the New Testament was written by a Choleric when operating in LOVE.
Choleric Children and Parenting
Obvious needs: Control and Productivity
Greatest underlining need: Appreciation for being responsible and trying to get the job done
Train up a child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gifts or bent) and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 AMP
Understanding each unique personality type is vital to understanding your child's needs. All children should not be raised the same. Parenting tailored to the child's personality will bring about the most success. Parenting is about the child's needs, not about the parent's needs. Your level of understanding about how VITALLY important it is to pay attention and spend time with your child will GREATLY increase the odds of your child's success. (please re-read that last statement)
Children of a Choleric Parent may sometimes feel stressed with a parent who tries to keep them busy without downtime. Choleric parents are unhappy with what they judge as laziness, and they push the child with many outside activities.
- The Choleric child will LOVE this busyness and explore new and exciting things. They are strong-willed, full of energy, adventuresome, and impatient. Consequently, this can lead to both the parent and child fighting for overall control. Keep in mind what you are dealing with, the KEY to realizing that what they are doing is equally (or more important) to them, then what you want them to do. Listening to the child, getting them onboard with your idea, looking them in the eye. The worst thing you can do to a Choleric child, NOT notice and appreciate their effort. It is the most degrading thing you can do to them. The most effective way to build up a Choleric child would be genuine, raw, appreciation. How do you reach this? You must pay attention to the child.
- The Sanguine child will feel stressed if they are pushed to stay on one project for too long and not be able to look at everything else along the way. The three basic needs for a Sanguine Child are to have fun, consistently require people around them, and a driving desire for approval. They have a deep sensitivity to avoid disappointing the Choleric parent. This disappointment is inevitable because the Choleric parent is always pushing for more. Coincidentally, this infuses a lifelong deficiency of never being enough in the child's mind. This child needs physical affection more than any other temperament; they are not tidy or neat and get distracted easily, with little sense of follow through. The most powerful motivation for a Sanguine child is AFFIRMATION.
- The Melancholy child will feel frustrated by not doing enough to please the parent and by not being perfect. They interpret this as a "parent's disapproval" as not understanding them or accepting them. This disappointment typically manifests itself in bouts of depression. A Melancholy child is orderly and a perfectionist, profound thinkers. Acceptance is their primary need. Choleric Parents need business and perfection. Therefore, overly pushing a Melancholy child can send them into an insecure/depressant state of mind.
- The Phlegmatic child may go along with your plans but will be miserable. They may appear lazy and uninterested in all of the activity and work involved. They need to be still and peaceful. They would prefer to read a book or watch other people. T.V. is a hiding place for them, and they will just watch the world go by. Lovingly encourage them to participate in one or two activities is good, but don't overwhelm them. In confrontation or overly pushed, the Phlegmatic child will go mentally blank and simply shut down.
HELP FOR YOUR CHOLERIC CHILD
So you can see how by knowing the different temperaments you can't treat all children the same and be a success at discovering their talents. Understanding the temperaments gives you the tools to bring out the unique requirements of each child with individual understanding. It's about the child, NOT the parent. A Choleric Parent will want the best for their child and will struggle with finding a balance with making the child in their image instead of the way God created them.
At a very young age, a child grasp LOVE in only two ways. One is physical touch, and the other is listening to your child's thoughts and feelings. Every child from birth to 6 years of age needs copious amounts of being held and snuggled. This teaches them security. Look them in the eye and listen to them, take that time and get to know them. This gives them a sense of personal acceptance. Of course, there are other ways to show LOVE for your children such as finances, discipline, education, physical presence, and encouragement, but these do not register as LOVE to a very young child.
A child without physical touch and loving communication with a parent will grow up with a deep and unfilled longing for LOVE. The best thing you can spend on your child is time.
Unlike the temperament that never changes, the child's attachment styles, (how they label their internal world), and their basic belief systems, (how the evaluate events) how they think, feel and respond to those events develop as they grow. Most thinking is that the attachment styles and the Belief Systems are 80% formed by the time they are 6 years of age. But they are subject to change with additional training and knowledge. Fearful events or exposure to LOVE can continually reshape their attachment styles and their Basic Beliefs throughout their life. As a Chloric move into LOVE, they live in their strengths and less in their weaknesses and way they relate to the world changes. All three parts of the person spirit, soul, and body mold together and become stronger and stronger.